How To Gather Evidence After An Accident
Over the weekend, a viral video of an incident at a rally in Washington, D.C. divided the internet. In the short video, a group of boys from a Catholic high school appear to harass a Native American man and refuse to step out of his way. The video quickly drew outrage, criticism, and demands that the students face punishment for their racist behavior. But watch a different video of the same incident, other says, and you’ll see that that the boys weren’t being disrespectful. They were just trying to defend themselves against a different group of hecklers.
So what actually happened? Were the students exacerbating the issue with racist behavior or trying to protect themselves against aggressive protesters? With conflicting reports currently coming from everyone involved, it depends on who you ask. But while political views likely play a role in what people see—or don’t see—in these viral videos, this is an example of why evidence is so important in any kind of disputed event, whether it’s a violent altercation or a car accident.
The Role of Evidence
In any kind of event, there will usually be differences in opinion. For example, at the scene of a car accident, Driver A might insist that Driver B ran a stop light and is at fault. At the same time, Driver B might claim that Driver A illegally pulled out in front of them. Sometimes, people might be lying to avoid admitting fault, but in many situations, events happen so quickly that it can be difficult to tell what happened.
Types of Evidence
Evidence comes into play when there is a dispute over the facts. Depending on the case, there can be many types of evidence, from blood splatters at the scene of a crime to skid marks in the road. In a car accident, some common types of evidence include:
- Vehicle damage
- Position of the vehicles immediately following the accident
- Road conditions, like potholes in the road
- Post-accident damage, like skid marks or damage to a guardrail
- Video from a traffic camera or from a nearby business or home
- Witness testimony
- Police reports
Evidence gives an unbiased opinion of what happened. For example, skid marks on the road could show that one vehicle was speeding before an accident. Similarly, video from a nearby security camera could determine who started a violent fight.
Gathering Evidence After An Accident
How does someone obtain evidence? In some cases, particularly in car accidents, the people involved can gather initial evidence on their own. At the accident scene, they can take pictures of their vehicle, injuries, and surroundings. They can also ask nearby witnesses for their contact information. When possible, it’s important to get this kind of evidence right away.
Some other types of evidence like videos from traffic cameras or business security cameras, can be a little harder to obtain. To obtain these videos, injured parties might need to help of an experienced attorney, who can try to get the evidence through a subpoena. This is yet another reason why an attorney can be a big help after a car accident or other injury.
As the different interpretations of the Washington, D.C. conformation show, evidence can play a critical role in determining what actually happened. If you are ever involved in a car accident or other injury-causing incident, remember to gather evidence if possible! Even the shortest video or the simplest picture make a huge difference.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.